If you’re one of the more than 4 million Americans with braces, you’re probably looking forward to a straighter smile and are willing to bear some pain to get there.
But getting your braces tightened is never fun, especially since the extra pressure can amp up your dental pain. Not only can this pain be distracting, but you may find it hard to eat your favorite foods.
You’re probably wondering how to make braces stop hurting. The great news is you have both medicinal options and some practical tips to dull the pain after your orthodontist office visits.
Read on for five helpful tips on how to relieve pain from braces.
1. Try an Oral Anesthetic or Pain Medication
Some ways how to relieve braces pain with medications include using Orajel or another oral numbing gel or taking over-the-counter pain medications like Tylenol or Advil.
You’ll rub the oral numbing gel on your gums to help make your teeth less sensitive. Follow your product’s instructions to avoid overusing the gel.
Taking a pain pill every four to six hours will also reduce your teeth pain from braces. Do be aware of possible side effects and check the label since you’re often limited to a certain number of pills per 24-hour period.
2. Use Some Orthodontic Wax
If you’re wondering how to deal with braces pain without turning to medication, orthodontic wax is a good choice. You can contact your dentist to get this non-toxic wax that will offer some relief from your brackets poking your gums and cheeks.
You’ll soften up the wax and apply it over sharp places on your braces. You’ll need to reapply it, though, when you brush your teeth.
3. Make Careful Food and Drink Choices
What you eat can make your braces pain worse. You’ll want to avoid hard foods that are crunchy and require a lot of chewing. Instead, opt for soft foods like bread and pudding, at least until the pain calms down.
Drinking cold water also can help with the pain since it provides a numbing effect. This can especially help alongside an ice pack that you place on your skin outside your mouth.
4. Massage Your Gums
Using your finger on your gums and rubbing in circles can really help provide some relief from braces pain. You’ll want to rub slowly with slight pressure and particularly target the areas that feel the sorest for the best results.
You might also consider using ice cubes to rub your gums for a numbing effect.
5. Rinse Your Mouth With Salt Water
You’ve probably heard that rinsing your mouth with salt water is good for after oral surgery, but it actually can even help with pain from your braces too.
You’ll fill up a cup with warm water and mix in about half a teaspoon of salt. Swish the salt water around your mouth for a minute every few hours after your braces tightening. You’ll find you can reduce this to a few times a day as the pain dulls.
Now You Know How to Relieve Pain from Braces
Knowing how to make your braces stop hurting will come in handy both now and for your future braces tightenings.
You’ll likely find it helpful to try a mix of these depending on whether your pain is bothering you the most. If it’s your gums, then the oral numbing gels, salt water mix, cold water, and gum massages are good bets. For actual teeth pain, you may find it easiest to opt for an oral pain medication and watch your eating habits.
Now that you know how to relieve pain from braces, check out our other blog posts.